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Coping with Loss: Advice from Grief Therapists

OMB worked with the Christensen & Hymas law firm to compile this helpful advice. We only work with businesses that we trust and present information that we feel will benefit our readers.

We will all go through the devastation of loss at some point. As moms, we often feel like we have to hold everyone together at times like these, and that often means pushing our own grief aside to care for others. However, understanding the grieving process for ourselves is important even as we try to heal others. After all, you can only pour from a full cup and we must be role models to our children for how to respond to loss in a healthy way. 

The lawyers at Christensen & Hymas work with families who have lost loved ones due to unfortunate, unexpected accidents on a regular basis. The stories are often heartbreaking. To help these and other families, they reached out to over 100 grief therapists and asked them to share with us their thoughts on how to best cope with the loss of a loved one. The content below is a compilation of some of their responses.

Let Yourself Grieve

“Letting ourselves hurt feels like we’re on the precipice, and if we abandon ourselves to it, our hurt will completely consume us. We tend to hold back our pain, not share it, even avoid or escape it in ways that can be detrimental to us or our loved ones. Opening up about our hurt isn’t defeat, it’s intimacy. Allowing ourselves to feel it doesn’t incapacitate us, it opens us up to function more fully.”
-Liz Hunter, MA, LMFTA of Liz Hunter Counseling

Take Time to Remember the One You’ve Lost

“I personally cope with the loss of a loved one by remembering the good times we shared and trying not to dwell on the physical separation…”
-Chad Anderson of Goff Mortuary

“The next few days I focused on self-care activities, including talking to other friends who had known and loved her. We talked about positive memories we had with her and also focused on all of her accomplishments and the ways that she had contributed to our processes of personal growth. Attending her funeral about a week later gave me a sense of closure and to truly move past the denial stage, and after the funeral, I continued to get together with mutual friends to celebrate the life my friend had lived.”
-Cari Morphet of Caring Journey Counseling

Take It Easy on Yourself

“…The next step is to allow the experience to be there, since it is anyway, and bring as much ease and tenderness to oneself while feeling these strong emotions and sensations. This is the time to bring self-compassion into the practice and recognize that it is part of the human condition to grieve and feel these strong feelings. It is also the time to use soothing touch and words of kindness to oneself.”
-Dr. Stephen Thayer a clinical psychologist

“Above all, be gentle with yourself, go at your own pace and don’t make significant changes until you are ready (unless reality dictates otherwise).”
-Ammon Fawson, LMFT of Endeavor Clinic

“Be gentle on yourself. You can only do what you can do. Perhaps that is just sitting at the kitchen table drinking tea, or perhaps it is sitting in a chair doing nothing…”
-Liz Hunter, MA, LMFTA of Liz Hunter Counseling

Know You Don’t Have to Grieve Alone

“My husband was killed in an auto accident we were in, 3 days after we were married. I struggled to find things that worked for me. In no particular order: I saw a therapist and learned about the 5 stages of grief, I read books about death and grief, yelled, cried, did some journaling, threw rocks, punched pillows, wished I could die, talked to others, listened to songs that brought back memories (bitter sweet), made a blanket out of my spouse’s clothes (which I still cherish to this day!), continued to talk to my spouse, and was able to eventually find a Young Widow Support Group.

…My family and friends were a strong support for me. When I struggled with death wishes, loved ones wouldn’t leave me alone. I never gave up, even when I wanted to and couldn’t imagine seeing another day…”
-Aimee Francom of Life’s Solutions Counseling

“[You should] attend a therapy group with others who can understand you.”
-Cecilia H. Leggett of Foothills Counseling & Wellness

Hopefully this advice will help you face your own grief and guide your family through a difficult time with hope and love. You can read the full article here at Christensen & Hymas’s website and see more of their helpful advice for overcoming grief. 

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